My eighty-nine-year-old mother, Barbara, has been living with my wife, Jeannie, and me for more than a year now. These past couple of years have been particularly challenging for her. Month after month, she loses some ability that she once had. She needs help getting out of a chair or walking to the kitchen. She can’t find the right words to explain what she’s thinking about. By letting people help her, Mom is having to surrender to the reality of her age, and there are times when it’s really frustrating for her.
But as much as she might struggle with her declining abilities, my mom is helping me learn more about yielding to God in my life. She’s teaching me to surrender to God’s will rather than fighting it. I like to make my own decisions. I like to call the shots in my family or at work, but sometimes God puts me in a situation in which I have to surrender to him and let him call the shots.
It’s hard at times to say, “I surrender, Lord! I yield to your will!” And yet this is what he wants from each of us. He knows that when we surrender to him, we are acknowledging who he is and who we are. We are acknowledging that God, the uncreated Creator, is in charge of our lives and we are not. Of course, he wants us to be good stewards of the gifts he has given us, but that stewardship has to come under his rule and his reign. He wants us to find delight in doing his will, and sometimes that can be very hard to do.
Going Deeper. This month, we want to invite you to deepen your attitude of surrender to the Lord. In our first article, we’ll focus on surrendering to God’s gaze of love. This is easier said than done. Just look at the story of the rich young man (Mark 10:17-22). The second article will focus on surrendering to God’s call and mission for our lives. No matter where you live or how old you are, God has called you to advance his kingdom. May we all say yes to that call, yield to the Lord, and build his kingdom!
In the final article, we will consider what it means to surrender to God on a daily basis. It’s not enough to commit our lives to him just once—we often end up wresting back control from him. No, we should surrender to God’s will every day. Every situation, every conversation, belongs to him.
Does this all sound hard? Well, God delights in calling the weak, so if you are weak, then don’t worry! The Holy Spirit, who has lived in you since the day of your baptism, will help you surrender to your Father every day. And as you yield to God, in even the smallest ways, you will be imitating the One who said, “Father, . . . not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
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